'But I Could Never Go Vegan!' + Cookbook Giveaway!
I've been a fan of Kristy's creative recipes and drool-worthy photos, taken by her talented husband Chris, for a long time. Her blog Keepin' It Kind is full of tasty treats & restaurant reviews, presented with descriptive photography and a focus on eating kindly, which I think is something we could all do a bit more of. Kirsty has some food allergies driving her eating habits, but she presents her recipes and writing in such a sweet, girl-next-door fashion you feel like she's already your best friend. She makes veganism accessible with recipes that'll leave meat-eaters wondering what hit 'em and fellow vegans praising whatever god(s) they believe in. And her new cookbook aims to to just that; 'But I Could Never Go Vegan!' is a work of art against excuses. The chapters are literally named after common lines people like to use when faced with making the transition to a plant-based diet. Titles like: "Tofu doesn't taste like anything!", "Where would I get my protein?", and "Vegan cooking is too hard!" beg the reader to dive in and prove the naysayers wrong. Kristy's book proves that you really can live without cheese, it's not all rabbit food, and your friends will still come over for dinner!
I just love this cookbook. Its lay-out is well thought out and organized with both an appendix in the front and an index in the back, so you can always find what you're looking for. Did I mention there's a whole section on just PIZZA? Like the Buffalo Cauliflower Calzones with Cashew Blue Cheese. I'll take 6, thanks!
We've made at least a half dozen recipes from Kristy's amazing cookbook, but keep finding new ones we have to have. When we made the Maple Baked Bean Casserole, though, we just fell in love. Its such a simple recipe, perfect for a gathering or dinner party, and was PERFECT Superbowl food. I consider myself a comfort food aficionado but Kristy just stepped the game up a notch. Smokey baked beans topped in a sweet, buttery cornbread crust...I'm ready for some leftovers! And in case you are already drooling all over your keyboard about where you can get this good-food goldmine (your local bookstore?) you can enter to WIN a FREE copy below! Just read through the scrumptious recipe and enter your heart out, babydoll. Before we get to the recipe though, a note from the Kristy herself on this cozy,home-cooked meal: I’m just going to come right out and say it: I love casseroles. I was raised in a casserole-lovin’ family and in my pre-vegan days, a rectangular dish filled with something cooked in a can of condensed soup and topped with potato chips or corn flakes or bread crumbs was the epitome of comfort. If you’re like me, never fear—since going vegan, the casseroles have only gotten better. Take this casserole of smoky, barbecue-y, maple-y beans baked with a layer of cornbread on top. Now imagine digging into a bowlful while sitting at a table with your loved ones, the sound of familiar voices and laughter dancing in your ears. This casserole has “cozy” written all over it.
INGREDIENTS Maple-Baked Beans:
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Two 15-ounce (425 g) cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
One 15-ounce (425 g) can unsalted diced tomatoes, with liquid ⅔ cup (160 ml) Barbecue Sauce ⅓ cup (80 ml) maple syrup
2 tablespoons tomato paste
tablespoons apple cider vinegar
tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon liquid aminos (or tamari or soy sauce)
1 teaspoon sriracha
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
A few dashes of nutmeg
1 ½ tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
Salt and black pepper to taste
Cornbread: 1 ½ cups (375 ml) non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
2 tablespoons warm water
2 cups (280 g) cornmeal (fine or coarse grind)
1 cup (130 g) whole wheat pastry Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cayenne powder, optional ⅓ cup (70 g) melted vegan butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the beans, tomatoes, Barbecue Sauce, maple syrup, tomato paste, 1. tablespoons vinegar, mustard, liquid aminos, sriracha, liquid smoke, cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in the nutritional yeast (if using), salt, and pepper. Remove from the heat.
3. While the beans are simmering, make the cornbread batter. In a measuring cup, combine the non-dairy milk and 1 tablespoon vinegar. In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed meal and warm water. Let both mixtures sit for at least 5 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, paprika, nutmeg, and cayenne. Add the milk mixture, flaxseed meal mixture, melted vegan butter, and maple syrup. Mix until just combined.
5. Pour the beans into the prepared baking dish. Using a rubber spatula, spread the cornbread batter on top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean. Remove from the oven and serve warm. Leftovers can be covered and chilled 3 to 4 days. (Scroll down for disclaimer.)
You made it! If you've got a casserole in the oven, you're extra lucky. If you don't, treat yourself by entering to WIN your own copy of Kristy's book in our giveaway! Don't wanna wait? We can't blame you! You can buy a copy here from Kristy's publisher and should absolutely check out her blog, which is regularly updated with some serious eats that you'll definitely wanna make for your Valentine. On the other hand, you could just enter to win below and give THAT to your Valentine. Whatever. Thanks again to Kristy for writing this flavor bible and letting us review it for her AND give away a copy. She rocks. Entries open to US & Canada only please. Sorry, mates. Good luck!